grills) originated in the hip-hop community. Now, the trend has been exported to Europe. Exhibit A: the Spanish band Sex Museum.

Sex Museum is a quintet from Madrid—-vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums. I found myself making smart-ass remarks about Sex Museums aesthetics—-think Eurotrash cock and roll, or L.A. garage with blousy shirts—-but was forced to check my bullshit American attitude for the following reasons:

1. Sex Museum very generously allowed my band to jump their bill in rural Verbania, Italy. At this show, my band played, sold merch, was fed and housed on what would have been a money-burning “day off” in Europe.
2. Though rock critics and nitwit record collectors may groan to hear me say it, Sex Museum sounds like the Stooges.

Forced to abandon my cynicism by these Spanish Good Samaritans, I turned my attention to interpreting Sex Museum’s dental work. Three-fifths of this band—-the vocalist, the guitarist, and the keyboardist—-have procured adult braces. These braces were not the ubiquitous, unsightly metal that mars the features of many crooked-tooth adolescents, but constructed of a clear, plasticene material that shone in the Italian sun like glimmering beams of light reflected from a wine-dark sea. I could not discern what purpose these adult braces served—-all members of Sex Museum are quite attractive and, from my perspective, require no grillwork. However, as the saying goes here in the Old World, “fashion trumps function.”

Over dinner, I was able to strike up a conversation with Sex Museum’s bass player, a Spanish Adonis with a flowing mane ‘o glorious black hair and, unlike his bandmates, no adult braces (see blurry picture above). As he does not speak English and I do not speak Spanish, our repartee was restricted to band-related topics. Sex Museum has played Mexico, it turns out—-the bass player assured me that it is “an incredible party.” The gentleman also encouraged me to play Madrid, where “there are many wonderful nightclubs.” I was keen to hear more about these parties and nightclubs, but, when not worrying about all the adult braces in the room, was distracted by the name “Sex Museum.”

“Sex is not something you put in a museum!” I longed to say. “Sex is not a dead thing to be hung on the wall, like a Renaissance portrait or hunting trophy! Sex is to be celebrated—-a living, organic, mysterious thing that plays its Freudian part in all our lives! Your band should be called ‘Sex Parade,’ or ‘Sex in Your Face,’ or even ‘Destination: Sex!'” Lacking the Spanish to convey these complex ideas, I was forced to ask the first question that came to mind.

“Are there many incredible parties and wonderful nightclubs in Barcelona?” I asked.

“Yes,” Sex Museum’s bass player assured me. I do not doubt his opinion.